Restarting An Exercise Program

Even if exercising used to be a big part of your life, getting back into it after taking a break can be hard on your body. Here are some safety tips for restarting an exercise program:

  • If you have not exercised for a while, start back gradually. Start at about 1/2 of your previous level and slowly build up over 1-2 weeks.
  • Often the effect of resistive exercises is not felt until the next day so always start lighter than you think you can do. If you start too intensely with hard, heavy, fast or long exercise bouts, you are much more likely to be injured.
  • Doing a mix of exercises is best. Try som aerobic biking, walking or jogging. To learn about walking safety, click here.
  • Try resistive exercise using your own body weight, such as going up and down stairs or wall pushups.
  • Try pool exercise or swimming, which is a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise.
  • If you feel like you need to increase the work load, add some weights to your program. But remember, always start low and build your way up. You should be able to smoothly move the weight through the full limb motion without discomfort or substitution.
  • Start at 5-10 repetitions.
  • If you have a particularly troublesome injury, do not try to exercise through pain. Mild muscle soreness is ok, but joint pain is not.
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